The arrest rate for all crimes in Atlanta has reportedly dropped significantly amid city wide protests over the death of George Floyd last month.
In the days leading up to the police shooting death of Rayshard Brooks, officers were reportedly apprehensive about performing routine stops out of fear that the moment could turn headline news-worthy — destroying lives and careers.
Traffic stops are reportedly down by nearly 80%, according to WSB-TV.
“It’s a reflection of the officers’ nervousness or, you know, hesitation to be the next officer that’s put in jail,” said Vince Champion of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers.
“When you approach a car, you have absolutely no idea what’s going on,” he added.
Multiple sources in the Atlanta Police Department have said that officers are not responding to calls in several of the city’s zones and that an “unusual number” of officers are calling out sick, theGrio previously reported.
The action is perceived to be in response to the 11 charges that were filed against Garrett Rolfe in relation to the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks. The charges include felony murder, five counts of aggravated assault, four counts of violation of oath of office, and one count of criminal damage to property.
Meanwhile, according to a report on The AP that was published earlier on theGrio, Atlanta’s police department said it can still police the city even if officers are calling in sick to protest efforts to impose reforms.
“The Atlanta Police Department is able to respond effectively to 911 calls. Please don’t hesitate to call if you have an emergency,” the department tweeted.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms also insisted that the department would be able to operate effectively despite the reaction of some officers to her orders calling for reforms in policing.